3 Jul 2018 Luxembourg - The European Union funded MIREL project aims to address key challenges in the burgeoning field of legal informatics, the use of advanced information technology to search for and analyse legal data. The goal is to enable law firms and practitioners who are frequently overwhelmed by vast volumes of legislation and case law to rapidly and efficiently query legal texts to aid decision-making and regulatory compliance.
As law and legislation become more complex, dynamic, international and at times contradictory, more advanced methods are required for analysing, representing and reasoning legal knowledge. But for novel tools and techniques to be applied effectively, key challenges first need to be addressed. These include resolving conceptual issues, such as the role of legal interpretation in mining and reasoning, and computational challenges, such as the processing of big legal data, as well as dealing with the complexity of regulatory compliance.
The MIREL project is therefore establishing an international and inter-sector network of researchers to both define a formal framework and to develop tools for mining and analysing legal texts. They are applying technologies such as natural language processing and computational ontologies, argumentation, logic and reasoning.
The project, supported by the EU's Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange programme, pools expertise from research institutes in five European countries as well as Argentina, Australia, China, Japan and South Africa.
The development of the framework and tools will be guided by the needs of three industrial partners, and validated via practical case studies. MIREL is the first project of its kind to involve industrial partners in the development of innovative products and services in legal reasoning, supporting their future deployment to market.
The project also promotes mobility and staff exchange between industrial partners and academic institutions to create an international interdisciplinary network of expertise in law and artificial intelligence.